I know I’m much later than usual, but with the holidays and a huge Christmas present project going on I’ve not had time to sit down and empty the camera! We took the pictures but I just didn’t post… Sorry!
On December 4, Zo’s monthly odometer clocked 31. I know I say the cliche “she’s changed so much” statement every month but I’ve really noticed a big difference in our girl since we last updated you. She’s going through another growth spurt. Gone are the days of 2T… we are full 3 now. She’s over half my height! Who has two thumbs and is going to be a short mom? (**gesturing to myself with thumbs**)… this girl! She’s so much like her Dad, both in stature and mannerisms. Tall and lean. Lanky and awkward. I love it. Favorite position she sits in now has got to be the leg cross with the hands behind the head. It’s SO Ben. Especially when she lets out the loudest yawn for theatrical value.
Not only has she grown physically (hair is darker and face is leaner) but she’s grown mentally. She can memorize a movie after seeing it twice (much to my chagrin). The other night we sat in her tent to read before bedtime. I pulled out “Happy HoliDogs!”… think of a crude version of the 12 Days of Christmas where you replace maids and doves with dogs. We hadn’t read it in over a week and when we got up to seven dogs-a-leaping she took it from there… all the way down to one pup under the tree. I was in disbelief. I had to call Ben in to have her recite pretty much the entire book. I had no idea she could do that. This ability became all the more staggering when her teacher told me last Friday that Zo had been saying “My Daddy said I could have anything I want!” Hello mortified. Have we raised her to be greedy and self-centered!? Does she really believe she gets anything she wants?! Two days later we realized where that statement had come from… PeeWees Big Adventure. Oops. She loves “Kiwi” Herman as she calls him. We were operating under the assumption that she was too young to repeat or understand. Zoey – 1. Mom and Dad – 0.
- Loves to look at herself in the mirror. She mugs and twirls. Her teacher told us yesterday that she spent at least 10 minutes twirling in her pink dress in front of their classroom mirror, making faces and saying “sooooo beautiful.” They told me they think she should have her own TV show.
- Cautiously stubborn. The second she knows she’s done something naughty or stubborn, she becomes sheepish and apologizes profusely.
- She loves Christmas. I’m downplaying this by saying “loves”. She can’t wait to turn on all our Christmas lights the second we get home from school. She needs to do it herself, however. She thoroughly enjoys touching the presents under the tree.
- Favorite Food: Spicy Chips and m&ms (“dah Kwismass ones”)
- Favorite Toy: Still Toothless and Baby Toothless, which has now been nicknamed “BT”. Also loves puzzles and whips through them like nobody’s business.
- Favorite Activities: Making blanket forts with Daddy, putting “chat stick” on her lips, feeding Spliff treats (“Here baby, have some buddy biskits” as she throws five treats into a pile on the floor), turning the Christmas lights on and off, and riding on Ben’s back (“I’ma ride you, Daddy Horsie!”). And who can forget the endless sheets of stickers that are mindlessly slapped onto giant sheets of easel paper?
- Favorite Color(s): I’d have to say a tie between blue and purple now.
- She can recognize her name written out so she knows each and every present that belongs to “Zo-ee-why” under the tree.
- She’s become opinionated about what she wears. Mostly regarding pants. She now hates jeans because “They’re just not kumpy!” (kumpy = comfy).
I just did preview view and realized I just wrote a book so I’ll stop there. Here are the pictures of our very grown up girl in her jaw-dropping hand made Norwegian sweater from her Auntie Nan…
Half birthdays seem to have a similar shock value when compared to whole birthdays. Whole birthdays (** I chuckled after I wrote that.**). I tend to invent words or phrases in inopportune situations… i.e. in a meeting with our Treasury Operations Manager when I said spreadsheety. Yeah. I said spreadsheety to a Senior Vice President. Whole birthday needs to catch on. It pinpoints the type of birthday so you don’t confuse it with half birthday, or golden birthday, er… wait. I guess a golden birthday would technically qualify as a whole birthday. Never mind. Pretend you didn’t just waste 15-20 seconds of your life reading that. My point, before I went off on a ridiculous tangent, was that it’s almost as shocking that Zo is officially 2 and a half when compared to how I felt when she turned 2. Time is just a-flyin’ and I wish I could slow her down.
- I feel that, since I’m her mom, I’m allowed to say that she is the cutest kid that’s ever walked the planet. She gets more beautiful by the day. It terrifies me!
- She’s so empathetic and compassionate. When we found a huge lump on our best bud/ brother, Spliff, she immediately requested her “doctor tools” and gave him a full check up… complete with Dora band-aid and faux inoculations. She hugged him and said “I’ma make you all better, Peen. I love you, baby.” **Tears were shed.**
- Favorite Food – candy corn pumpkins, jalapeno chips (which she calls spicy chips), and macky cheese.
- Favorite Movie – We haven’t watch How to Train Your Dragon in a while, but she still loves that one and talks about it constantly. Her favorites to watch right now are Finding Nemo and Brave.
- Favorite Toy(s) – She still loves her Toothless stuffed animal and Tiny has crept back into her heart. He is actually accompanying her to school now. I’d say it’s a tie between the two of them. She’s loving coloring on chalkboards right now so that was inspiration for this month’s photo shoot. She’s also into her Merida (princess from Brave) and Angus (Merida’s horse) stuffed animals.
- Favorite Song – Every night we sing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and You Are My Sunshine but nothing gets her going like Walking on a Dream.
- She’s headstrong and has an opinion about everything, but is very good about apologizing and changing her naughty behavior when it happens.
- She loves scary stuff. She’s not afraid of anything. She even likes to say “I’m not afraid of anything!” It’s true. She can walk up to any skeleton or monster decoration, no matter how big or menacing and hold it’s hand and say, “I like this skeleton. He’s scary.”
- Cutest thing she’s doing right now – She loves it when I wear my hair down. She’ll stroke it with her hands and sing this song from Tangled. Obviously, when Zo sings, the words aren’t as clear and it ends after one verse, but I find it adorable. I’m usually very impressed with how on-key her gibberish words are!
So, like I said above, her love of all things chalk inspired this month’s photo shoot. We had to end up doing them indoors which explains the god-awful backgrounds. Dang daylight savings time!
You’ll notice in that last picture that she’s holding a stuff dog with creepy eyebrows. That is Farfel. He was actually my stuffed dog from when I was a little girl! It tickles me that she loves him so much.
It tickles me that both Zo and Spliff love him so much…
Yep, those are stickers on Spliff’s head. A brother’s gotta do what a brother’s gotta do!
And Zoey photo bomb in 3, 2…
Ben was trying to get the lighting and flash right. I love how she’s creeping. It’s so BigFoot-esque!
Seriously. Once you see her pictures it’s the first thing you’re going to think of. Little House on the Prairie.
Yesterday, Zo moved two months closer to being 2 and a half. She’s 28 months old and this was by far her most cooperative photo shoot to date. She smiled, she hammed it up… heck, she even did some dog chasing and tree danglin’. I can’t believe all the milestones we’re hitting these days. She started early preschool, she can spell a few words, and she can count in English and Spanish. She can almost dress herself and even puts her shoes on the correct feet. She’s a very brave girl (as evidenced by a few of our pictures below) and is so unique and quirky. We’re just so glad she’s ours!
- There aren’t many words Zo has trouble with these days. She’s fully conversational. Trust me, you’d notice if you were in her presence. She literally (literally… not figuratively) never stops talking. It’s constant.
- Her hair is getting so much longer. When it’s wet, it goes down past her shoulders, but the second it begins to dry it turns into ringlets and shortens up to about her chin!
- Her favorite move: How to Train Your Dragon (Dwagons) and Despicable Me (Despicolo Me)
- Her favorite food: Sprinkle donuts
- Her favorite color: Blue comes first… then Purple
- Her favorite toy: Her Toothless stuffed dragon from How to Train Your Dragon in addition to any of her other Toothless toys that she’s acquired. Still can’t sleep without her Tiny though!
- Her favorite animal: Dragons! (She even says they have dragons at the zoo. I keep telling her bringing Toothless there with us doesn’t count.) Or snakes. We have to draw them with chalk on the patio for her all the time. She says “they like to chase her but she’s not scared!”
- Her favorite game: Pretending she’s Ursula from The Little Mermaid and stealing Daddy’s voice when he sings like Ariel. I know I’ve asked this before, but should I be worried that she digs movie villains?
- She says the cutest and sweetest things for no reason. The other night when I was singing her to sleep she told me that she loved my voice. Or yesterday, when we were putting on play clothes after school, she stood up on her changing table, wrapped her arms around my neck and said, “Mommy, sometimes I just love you!”
- She thinks Daddy is the funnier than a cat in a shark costume on a Roomba. He can cure any foul Zoey mood.
- Timeouts happen a lot. And she is very quick to apologize these days. Methinks (or me-hopes, I guess) that they’re working!
I give you, Zoey Ingalls Wilder…
Photo shoots just aren’t the same without our fool-proof smile-maker…
And that brave part I mentioned earlier… She doesn’t have help… she’s holding herself up a few feet off the ground! Daddy was there to catch her but she “can do it herself!”
Zo got into a very sought after private pre-school. We were so sad to learn that we were wait-listed at the closer Primrose location to our home last week; it was sounding like June 2014 was the earliest she could secure a spot. We had heard such amazing things about the school and wanted to get Zo in ASAP. As I wallowed in self-pity I browsed the internet searching for the best option for Zo to no avail… nothing compared to Primrose. I remembered that Primrose had multiple locations, and that maybe if Ben and I were willing to drive a little further every day, we could make another location work. I knew all locations were on a significant wait but I decided to call anyway. Never hurts to ask, right? I didn’t know how right I was.
Initially, they told me they were also looking at June 2014 for an opening for Zo’s age group. Ugh! Not again! But then, the receptionist said “Wait and hold one second. I need to ask the director something.” I crossed my fingers. I held. I held some more. Then the director came on the phone and told me that she had an immediate opening for Zo! Um, what?! Apparently, at 27 months, she fit perfectly into the spot that had just opened that morning and that if we wanted it it was ours! I almost screamed (and then remembered that I was at work), but excitedly said “We’ll take it! We’ll take it!” The director began taking down my info and we came to Zo’s name. After I said “Zoey” the director was surprised. “Small world! That’s the name of the little girl that is leaving who’s spot you’ll be taking!” Um, yeah. Very weird, indeed! Same spelling and everything! This spot was meant for her! We stopped by that very night and picked up her new backpack and all the paperwork. Cutest backpack ever…
She was so excited when it came time to go to school yesterday. I was very proud of her!
Her first day could not have gone more smoothly. Not one tear was shed. She easily walked away from Ben and I when we entered her classroom and didn’t look back when we left. She loved everything about her day and napped like a champ. They told me that it was like she’d always been there. They sent her home with this adorable card with a picture of her napping. Love that.
I still can’t believe that Zo’s starting pre-school and that we were lucky enough to get her into such a wonderful place. Where has the time gone?!
Yesterday was the 27 month mark for Zo. After bath time (around 6:30 pm) we realized that we’d completely spaced on taking her monthly pictures! So I quickly blew her hair dry, threw on this dress that finally fits her (it is a 6-12 month from auntie Marisa) and ran out to the backyard to quickly get this thing done before we entered the sleep-deprived tantrum zone. m&m’s are our co-pilot. This kid will do anything for an m&m. They are her vice. So, we get her out back and into her little chair and realize the camera battery is dead. Thank the Lord for the iPhone 5 and its superior picture taking abilities (Of course, I needed to delete three apps to free up some memory space… Yes, I’ve filled the largest iPhone on the market to max capacity with pictures of my kid)! Apple, we owe you one!
You know the drill… a few things about our girl…
- She’s definitely a typical toddler. She tests us constantly. For instance, yesterday I told her that she needed to stop incessantly stepping on the garbage can pedal to lift the lid. She did it again and looked at me with a smirk. I told her that if she stepped on the pedal one more time she’d get a timeout. She smirked again and stood with her little foot hovering over the pedal. She suddenly put her foot down on the ground and lifted the lid with her fingers instead. Cheeky monkey. She won that battle… I hope I win the war!
- She started Montessori school. School is definitely her thing and she comes home every day with something new to share with us. My favorite song is probably “There are seven days in a week!” When she finished the song I said to her, “That was so great! So, how many days are in a week?” She replied, “2!” Song fail.
- I told her the other day that she was so goofy. She replied “No way, man! I’m a girl!”
- She thinks that the only way to get Mommy and Daddy to wake up is to kiss them on the lips. The other day Ben was pretending to sleep so that she’d give him a kiss. She grabbed my arm and pulled me over. She said “Mommy, you kiss Daddy up!”
- Favorite Movie(s): “Despicolo Me” and “Monster
- Favorite Song: “I Like to Move it, Move it!” (pee-my-pants laughing whenever she sings it… she bobs her head back and forth when she sings the “move it move it” part)
- Favorite food: “Tootie rolls” (tootsie rolls) and “macky cheese”. Although, she has taken an interest in “marmallows” since camping.
- Favorite book: Little Red Barn
- Favorite toy(s): Tiny (obviously) and “sea shells” (which is actually a jug of beads that snap together)
I hope! Don’t hate me for being so ridiculously late with this post! Can you believe that two years ago this past Saturday, ZoBean turned 2?! I can’t either. I can no longer officially say her age in monthly increments when the Target check out lady asks “How old is she?” Just a simple “2″ now. Holy bananas that went quickly… and I can’t begin to tell you how crazy it is to have a sassy-pants toddler in my midst! She’s such a little individual and Ben and I adore her. Here are a few funny things she’s up to as of the 2-year mark!
- She’s OBSESSED with dragons. Obsessed is actually putting it rather mildly. She pretends she’s a dragon, she thinks Gamma and Tampa’s house is infested with dragons (they live upstairs), she sleeps with a stuffed dragon, and she constantly talks about dragons. All household flashlights are now dragon hunting devices. She has recently become more interested in stories Ben and I make up off the top of our heads than reading a book, and her favorite tall tale is that of “Zoey the Dragon” who lives on Dragon Island. You have to take Dragon Airlines to get there… but not Zo. She just flies there with her giant purple wings. Seriously, she eats this stuff up. She’s so hilarious about them. Favorite quote of the birthday weekend had to do with dragons. On Friday afternoon Zo was convinced that the dragon that lives upstairs was going to come down to eat her “birthday turkey” (pulled turkey Barb was making for her party). Zo kept yelling up the stairs ”No way, Dragon! It’s my birthday turkey! No eatin my turkey!” I hadn’t gotten to tell Zoey’s aunt Kari the story of the turkey and on Saturday, as Zo led Kari upstairs to see the dragon she yelled out “No eatin my meat, Dragon!” Once I explained that Upstairs Dragon had an affinity for turkey meat, it all made sense.
- Her hair! Oh, her hair! Blonde waves and curls that grow exponentially by the minute. She now enjoys wearing her hair in a ponytail or pigtails because they make her look like Mommy or “cousin Bailey”. She calls her ponytail hoders “wigglies”.
- Since we’re on the topic of grooming, it’s important to mention that she’s enthralled with the makeup application process. I bought her her very own dollar store makeup brush so she can “get ready” with me. She sits on the floor in front of me and I sit in the chair behind her. We both look in the mirror and Zo frequently calls out to Ben “Daddy, we gettin’ ready!”
- She loves rocks, just like her mama did at that age.
- She still sleeps with her fox, Tiny. I think he is the big man on campus because she can’t sleep without him. This time the addiction has stuck for about 6 months… I think Tiny’s in it for the long haul.
- She asks us “Why?” constantly. A normal conversation goes something like this…
Me: We have to go to the bank.
Me: Because we need to put money in our account.
Me: Because we need money to buy milk and blueberries for Zoey.
Zo: But… Whhhhy?
Me: Because Zoey likes to eat blueberries and drink milk.
Me: Because those are some of her favorites. I can’t really speak to it because it’s kind of a personal decision.
Me: I don’t know, why do you like blueberries?
Zo: Because… (thinking hard)… It’s raining!
- She can tell jokes now! She eventually did learn the right way to tell the joke Ben taught her, and now tells it constantly, but this original interaction was my favorite. Ben had one of the funniest conversations either of us have had with her just the other day. It went something like this…
Ben: Zo, do you want to learn a joke?
Zo: Yes, Daddy.
Ben: Ok. What’s brown and sticky? (pauses while Zo thinks) A stick!
Zo: No, Daddy! A poopy hand!
Ben: You’re right… yours is funnier!
- She is so affectionate and says “I love you very much” unsolicited. She will take our faces in her hands and plant one right on the lips.
- She calls her sunglasses “Too Cools” because Ben told her once that she was “too cool” while wearing them.
- She loves to embellish stories or statements. For instance, if it’s sprinkling outside and her playset is wet she will say “Tampa, it’s raining verly verly hard and my park is verly verly wet!”
- Since our move to Hastings, her relationship with Boogr and Spliff has become even stronger than before. She truly relies on them for comfort and love. She tells them both all the time how good they are and how much she loves them. Listening in on her having a conversation with Spliff or Boogr is heart-melting at best… “Peen, you such a gooood boy! I love you, good boy! (while patting his head very gently)” or “You’re a good fend (friend), Boogies!”
- Favorite Show on Netflix: Timmy Time and Wonder Pets… Curious George is still up there
- Favorite song to sing: Row, Row, Row Your Boat, but she calls it “Merrily”
- Favorite food: (Ummiss) Hummus with pretzels and sprinkle donuts. She loves “ogurt” (yogurt) and “ooberries” (blueberries) too.
- Favorite thing to say: “No way, man!” or “I’m gon’ go play a little bit.”
- Favorite thing to do: Be outside! Especially when she’s watering the plants with her “Kayla” watering can (Kayla is what she calls anything elephant-related. There was an elephant named Kayla in Curious George 2.) She also loves “running down the mountain” aka, the hill on the 18th fairway of Hastings Country Club.
I still have trouble believing that I helped create this kiddo. She’s stunning, and I’m in awe of my joy… My Zoey Joy…
And a few party pictures…
And, of course, you know who never misses a party…
As I age, and as Zoey ages, I get worse at updating the blog on time. Life with a toddler. Here is her 1 year - 2 year video that we played at her birthday party on Saturday. I’ll update in the next day or two with her 24 month/ 2 year pictures and write up!
Happy 2nd Birthday, Zoey!.
It’s going too fast. WAY too fast!
I can’t believe at this time one month from now Zo will be TWO YEARS OLD. That is insane. She’s become a little girl in the blink of an eye. Because things are so busy with our move, time seems to have sped up even more, which is a blessing and a curse. We are in for some tough stuff in the coming week so slowing down to do a monthly photo shoot was just what the doctor ordered. First, the fun run down on all things Zo…
- She’s crazy smart. She corrects me all the time. Just yesterday I was unbuckling her from her car seat and I said “Wow, it’s really windy!” She looked me square in the eye and with a serious expression said in a correcting tone “No. It’s pretty windy.” Where does she get this stuff?!
- Ben read somewhere that at the age of two, most toddlers know approximately 50 words. Sooo not the case with our almost-two-year-old. We estimate that she’s about as eloquently spoken as a few three to four year-olds we know, so we’re estimating that she knows upwards of 400. She can tell us exactly what she wants and use situation-appropriate statements such as “Oh my goodness” or “It’s so exciting!” We have to be so careful what we say for fear of her understanding, let alone repeating.
- With the giant vocabulary comes the ability to sass us. She likes things her way but we never let it slide. One of the most commonly used statements right now is “No, not dare (there)”. That’s her way of saying “no”. Time-outs happen often right now but she’s very quick to apologize and change her behavior. Couldn’t really ask for a more cooperative kid.
- She outwits us all the time. I thought for the longest time that she was saying “no” to every question because she didn’t understand “yes.” Not the case. I gave her about 10 suggestions for dinner the other night and she said no to all of them. In an experiment, I suggested a chocolate egg left over from Easter. She immediately said “Yes!” Point, Zoey.
- She’s officially attached herself to Tiny, the fox. He’s become her go-to comfort item. We thought that maybe she’d avoid the whole attachment phase but “Tiny comes with!” every time we go to the store, or in the car, or to bed. He HAS to be there. He appears in most photos that we take (meltdowns without him). We now have three rotating Tiny’s so that we ensure that there will always be one available… just in case.
- She makes jokes. She loves to tell anyone that will listen that “Peeyon drives a bus” and that “Daddy’s a goofball”. On a windy day if my hair blows across my face she tells me that my “mustache is funny.”
- Favorite past times right now are having Zoey-Daddy time in the basement where he bucks her off his back onto the bed, playing Dragon and chasing us around the living room and kitchen, and coloring with her new bath crayons in the tubby.
- Favorite food… as much as it pains me to say this because I’ve become “that mom”… Macaroni and Cheese, known as Macky Cheese in our house. Can’t forget that she’s still a cookie monster.
- She’s started having nightmares. Her most recent two were about monsters and bubbles. Hmmm? “Mommy, the bubbles are so scarely! I need to wash my hands!” Consider me thoroughly confused! Monsters, I get. But bubbles?
- Something that has become part of our schedule that I treasure… When I wake her in the morning she snuggles her head into my shoulder and we cuddle in the chair for a few minutes covered in a blanket. Best part of my day.
- She loves to accessorize. Her cousin Kiley made her a sparkly bracelet that she absolutely adores and wants to wear everywhere. Necklaces, shoes, bracelets and purses are her thing. Uh oh.
- She likes to make us pretend coffee. Usually the cups come with a lemon or “strawleyberry”. She tells us they are lemon coffee and strawleyberry coffee. She might be on to something.
- She HATES being messy. She is obsessed with washing her hands and if she can’t finagle her way into having me help her use actual water and soap, she goes to her play kitchen and pretends to wash them. An empty ranch dressing bottle doubles as her soap dispenser. When we finger painted a few weeks ago, she was horrified that I would make her get so messy!
These next ones crack me up… and need some explaining…
These two go a little something like this….
“Oh my goodness, Mommy.”
“Do you hear it? It’s a pecker!”
I was dying laughing at her gestures. The index finger and thumb pinched together when she said “Oh my goodness” had me almost rolling on the ground. She was so stoked that she heard a woodpecker.
This next one was about five minutes later when she heard the woodpecker again. She said to me “Hold on, Mommy. It’s da pecker. He’s back!”
Or this one where she had to interrupt me to show me her “sparkie shoes”…
And the handsome first born as a bonus…